Usefulness of chemoradiotherapy for inoperable gastric cancer

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Radiotherapy is not commonly used for the treatment of gastric cancer in Japan, where surgery is the standard local treatment. We report the results of chemoradiotherapy in patients with advanced or recurrent gastric cancer which was deemed difficult to treat surgically.

METHODS

Twenty-one patients with gastric cancer (including sixteen with advanced/recurrent gastric cancer and five with poor general condition) underwent chemo-radiotherapy, for whom the therapeutic efficacy, toxicity and survival period were analysed.

RESULTS

The tumour response to chemoradiotherapy was categorised as complete, partial, stable or progressive in 5, 9, 3, and 4 patients, respectively, with an overall response rate of 67%. No serious complications such as gastrointestinal perforation or bleeding occurred, and no cardiac, hepatic or renal dysfunction developed during the follow-up period. The mean survival time was 19.8 months (range, 3-51 months). One patient died of another disease, 18 died of primary cancer and the cause of death was unknown in 2 patients.

CONCLUSIONS

Chemoradiotherapy appears to be an effective treatment for localised gastric cancer without distant metastases, but further studies are needed to determine the indications for chemoradiotherapy and late adverse effects, as well as the chemotherapy regimens to be used.

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